Roots of Life
It is raining as I writeÂ and I am thinking about my little vegetable garden plants and hopingÂ they are standing with deep roots getting the nourishment they need. I watched as the summer storm built up and the skies darkened, the wind picked up, a rumble in the air, and then from a distance you could hear the rain begin to fall and move over the land.
I went out on my back deck and sat watching and experiencing the refreshing coolness of the moisture as it slowly settled in. It was just a slight mist at first my skin barely feeling the effect even the cat wasn’t concerned. So we watched together, the cat and I, as if we were the only two souls on the earth brave enough to sit there. The rain began to get harder and my partner decided underneath the picnic table was a better place to watch but I continued to sit as the rain came down a bit stronger.
I watched, a bit enviously,Â the cat, which hadÂ lain down comfortablyÂ under his covered porch created from the table and seriously thought about sitting underneath the table with him as the rain now pepperedÂ down allowing the skin beneath my clothes to feel damp. As the storm grew stronger I thought perhaps we both should move inside and made my way to the door. It didn’t take aÂ lot of encouragement from me to entice my partner to come in as now theÂ rain had moved in with aÂ noisy strong force. So then I watched from the dry inside as the storm battered theÂ earth outside and my uncommitted partner now hid somewhere in the house as the thunder roared, the wind blew, and the rain came down.
I thought at first this would be a quick passing storm but now it seems to have settled on in as I watch the trees bend back and forthÂ I think about their roots. Questions abound in my mind of how much rain has to fall before the deep roots of plantsÂ will receive the water? What about shallow roots do they turn up from the earth and reach for the water or do they remain patient for the water to come to them? If they do not remain patient and indeed move to the water is that why shallow rooted plants and trees do not survive the wind and storms? Is that why when dry times come those shallow rooted plants wither and die because they have not learned to be patient and dig deep where the water lies beneath the earth? Is our faith and trust like the deep roots of a tree or plant or in our impatience do we reach the wrong way seeking a quick solution to our problems withering when no solutions arise or uprooting ourselves during storms? This week’s focus verse is really continuing from last week’s focus verse found in Jeremiah 17:7 as we explore the benefits of trusting God and making Him our hope and confidence. This week we move forward into the next verse, Jeremiah 17:8;
a) But they are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water.
b) Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought.
c) Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit. (NLT)
Full Trust = Deep Roots
Throughout the Bible touted and shouted are the benefits and necessity of trust yet we, as a whole people group, do not seem to want to freely give up that control and fully trust God. The benefits are often compared to things of nature as we can clearly see the effects of trees, plants, and roots. (Psalm 1:3; Psalm 92:12-14) Full trust is scary because we think we can solve our own issues faster but what happens when the droughts hit or the storms come do we up root ourselves or allow our roots to wither and die?
Are we here to just survive or to thrive as Mark Hall of Casting Crowns asks us? It seems to me we have a purpose for being here and more than just survival of the fittest or in this case the most Godly. I fully believe that our mission on earth is the glorify God and with that mission comes the great commission to tell others how to glorify God as we move through life. We must have deep roots to be able to weather the storms of life or survive the drought. We must produce good sweet fruit and stay refreshed to encourage others along the way.
My husband recently read Joyce Meyer’s book, The Root of Rejection,Â and allowed me to see his notes as he thought the bookÂ beneficial to this week’s focus verse. JoyceÂ suggests that whatever we choose to root ourselves in will determine the fruit that we produce in our life. So not only do we need to have deep roots of trust embedded in our life we need to be careful of the soil we plant ourselves in. Rich soil of love and acceptance will certainly create great fruits while rocky or sandy soils make survival a lot more difficult.
Full trust is not only scary but difficult because we are impatient but the Bible tells us that if we will give patience toÂ the issueÂ that our trust will pay off. It takes practice to develop deep roots; practice comes from study, prayer, small groups of other believers, andÂ daily communication with God. The more we trust the stronger we become just like eagles, running and not growing weary, moving forward without fainting. (Isaiah 40:31) This strength makes deep roots and deep roots give strength so they need each other for stability. Deep roots will develop sweet fruits to share with others so we may all join together in the kingdom of heaven. Can you imagine a world where the Holy Spirit comes and dwells where the joy, peace, andÂ love continually over flow from each and every soul? It should become our determination to create our world in this way and it will take each of us moving forward to spread the word of ChristÂ producing wonderful fruits managed by the deep roots of trust.
The storm has passed with trees now stilled, only a slight rumble in the distance, and the gentle drip drop of rain. My sidekick has returned from his hiding place and now lies calmly at the door watching what is left of the rain. His ears twitch with the distance thunder as if to question whether he should remain out in the open or return to his hiding place.
I pray that all of us will continue to grow and developÂ our relationships with God thatÂ we will be able to shootÂ our roots down firmly planting intoÂ the rich foundationÂ soil of Christ’s love and acceptance and not have to question ifÂ we should run and hide.Â Our ever-deepening roots will withstand the possibilities of futureÂ stormsÂ and droughts. Our days spentÂ producing the sweet fruits of the Holy Spirit to share with others fully trusting and placingÂ our hope and confidence in the Lord so that one dayÂ we all willÂ join withÂ our creator together sharing a rich abundant everlasting life where joy, peace, and love overflow.
Love in Christ,
The sweet storm rains of summer are ever refreshing to both the earth and us. I love to enjoy them fully and urge you to do the same but be sure to do soÂ safely.
What Are Your Thoughts? Join Us In Discussion…
What kind of roots do you have, deep or shallow? Have you firmly planted yourself in the rich soil of Christ’s love and acceptance? Have you been able to weather a storm in life because of your deep roots sealed with the full trust of God? Are you tired and weary feeling a bit dried up trying to get through the drought of impatience instead of reaching for the deep life waters found with God? We look forward to you sharing your thoughts and experiences.